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OCTOBER 22, 2004

Bernie to Mexico

Bernie Ecclestone will be in Brazil this weekend for the latest round of negotiations over the future of the sport (and for the Grand Prix) and will then be heading off on Sunday evening to fly north to Mexico for the official launch of the new Mexican Grand Prix at Cancun. The Mexicans have been trying to secure a race for some time and the deal that has been leaked out by the local government seems to secure the funding for an all-new race track and the kind of fees that Ecclestone likes to see these days. It will also strengthen F1's position in the American time zones as the fourth race in the time zone. It is believed that Ecclestone wants a fifth event as well but at the moment there is no hint of one being in the pipeline. The future of the Brazilian GP may not be in Sao Paulo, which is looking ever more shoddy, and we hear that the race will be moving to a new facility in Rio de Janeiro in 2006. It is likely that the Mexican and Brazilian events will be twinned in the F1 calendar to give the teams a second trip to the Americas in October to support the US-Canada foray in the spring. This probably explains why Brazil has been pushed forward in the 2005 calendar, allowing the Japanese and Chinese GPs to be at the end of the calendar.

The announcement will help to attract Mexican drivers and sponsors and it is believed that at least one Mexican company is already considering an investment in F1 as a sponsor.